King of Stats: Mullins Champion Chase success on the cards

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Effectively kicking off a new season, the Punchestown Festival sees many of those charges that put in bold showings at Cheltenham and Aintree strut their stuff across the Irish Sea.

And it’s up to the punters to spot the ones who may have peaked to early in the calendar year to do their backers justice at the Dublin track.

The first of the five days will see all eyes on the Punchestown Champion Chase, with the 2m contest won by greats like Sprinter Sacre, Sizing Europe and Moscow Flyer in recent years.

But who wins this renewal? We’ve got all the big stats to show you were to look for this year’s hero, and highlighted those charges that tick those particular boxes.

Recent form

  • 13 of the last 14 victors either won last time out or were in the first six in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham on their most recent start.

o   Felix Yonger, Oscar Hill, Savello, Twinlight

Class

  • The last seven winners had won at least two Grade 1s.

o   Champagne Fever, Sizing Europe, Flemenstar

Stamina

  • Of the last 14 winners, 12 had previously been successful over at least 2m2f.

o   Champagne Fever, Felix Yonger, Sizing Europe, Flemenstar, Oscar Hill, Bailey Green

Experience

  • Eight of the last 10 winners were second or third season chasers.

o   Champagne Fever, Mallowney, Felix Yonger, Savello

Price

  • In the last 16 years, only one winner was a bigger price than 8/1.

o   Champagne Fever, Hidden Cyclone, Mallowney, Felix Yonger, Twinlight

Breeding

  • From just 10 of the 58 runners (17 per cent), French bred horses aged between six and eight have won five of the last seven renewals.

o   Twinlight

Big Race wins

  • Four of the last five winners had won either the Dial-A-Bet Chase, Gowran Park Champion Chase or the Tied Cottage Chase in the previous season.

o   Twinlight, Sizing Europe, Hidden Cyclone

Conclusion

While no horse stands out above the rest in the stats, Willie Mullins’ trio come out on top, meeting four of the seven requisite trends.

Champagne Fever is probably the classiest of the bunch, but his tendency to throw in the odd sketchy jump would be enough to put some off at his current price.

At 6/1 Twinlight could be an each-way play for many, but Paul Townend’s mount is just as likely to run a stinker as he is to go well, with poor performances at Naas and Cork bookending some decent shows this season.

But instead, the nod goes to FELIX YONGER who has finished ahead of four of Tuesday’s rivals over fences, including his two aforementioned stable-mates.

He’s the only horse in the field to fit the recent profile when it comes to breeding for success in this contest and was a ready winner of a Fairyhouse Grade 2 at the start of the month.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.